One of my goals moving into the high school technology coordinator position was to start a radio club with students. Now 3 months into the school year and we’re learning a lot and producing some good quality shows.

It has been fun working through issues with students. We had feedback in a couple episodes and finally figured out it was because the equipment was grounded properly. We’ve played with different mic set-ups and our producers have been learning how to run the mixer.

We are run it as an after school club which is hard as students, like most everywhere else, are involved in many different activities. We started out with 22 students signed up and have had a good group of 10 that have settled in to produce shows.

Music Monday:
Every Monday these DJs and producers spin their favorite hits from up and coming artists. Mostly found on YouTube they contact musicians via Twitter to get permission to play their music on the podcast. So far they haven’t been turned down yet and they’re having fun playing a mix of music genre being products by amatures today.

Tuesday Round-Up:
We started the year with three shows and a couple weeks ago the students realized they were overlapping content and merged two shows into one. Tuesday Round-Up is the latest talk on the ISB campus. Kids discuss the latest news, the latest decisions by admin (moving from late start to early release was a heated debate). They also interview different students and talk about their lives as high school students. I find it interesting to hear their take on some issues at school. The latest episode even has 3 senior boys talking about how much they are going to miss their families when they go away to college next year….something I don’t think they would admit to their parents. 🙂

They are also learning how to build a community around the content. We started with a Facebook Group but then realized a Facebook Page was more what the show needed so now with over 120 members the next step is try and find ways to engage them more with the shows. We’ll see what the kids come up with but it’s been fun sitting back and watching them sort through how to make content on the web and build a community around it.

Have a listen, join the page, and subscribe to hear what’s new from ISB Radio.

I like it when other podcasters share their set up. A thanks to Leo Leporte, one of my favorite tech podcasters….or is that netcaster. I’ve learned a lot about podcasting just listening to the different shows he produces.

I wrote this page for the Shifting Our Schools site to share with others the set up I use to stream, record, and converse all at the same time. I thought I’d share it here as well. You can find links to the different equipment I use at my Amazon Store as well.

I’m writing this to share with others as it took me way to long to find the answer on how to do this.

I’ve got two podcasts; On Deck and Gourmet Geeks that are syndicated via iTunes (here and here). I noticed that when you download them to your iPod that the Album Art wasn’t coming through so I did a little research.

I use PodPress on a WordPress install and thought (wrongly) that the Album Art for podcasts was picked up via the RSS feed like everything else in iTunes. But the Album Art actually comes from the ID3 tag on an mp3 file.

Confused? Yeah this is a bit geekie.

What is a ID3 Tag?

ID3 is a very popular audio file data tagging format in active use by
software and hardware developers around the world. ID3 tags are
supported in software such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, YME, MusicMatch and hardware players like the iPod, Creative Zen, Toshiba Gigabeat and Sony Walkman.

tag editor tabSo I learned something new. Didn’t even know that this existed. So basically within a mp3 file you can store some date within the ID3 tag. One use for the tag is the Album Art.

So in order to get your Album Art to show up you need to have it embedded into the mp3 file. How do you do this?

You download a ID3 tag editor. I downloaded and installed AudioShell which works really well on my PC. It adds itself to the right-click preferences function. So you can right-click on a mp3 file and as the image shows to the left, add your album art right there into the ID3 tab.

I’m not sure how you add information to the ID3 tag on a Mac. But if someone could point me in the right direction in the comments I’d appreciate it.

I swear I passed myself in the hallway today. The last two weeks have been a whirl wind but I wanted to take some time at 11pm tonight to actually reflect on the past two weeks and some fun and amazing stuff that is going on here.

Last week I set up all 3 of my classes with a netvibes account (RSS reader). This week we started taking the first 10 minutes of each tech class to read through our feeds. We learned all sorts of stuff. A strange shark found off of Japan. Parents suing Myspace, we get the latest football and basketball scores from the guys and the girls give us the latest scope from the entertainment world. I allow the students to wonder away from tech in these 10 minutes although I always share something about technology to model what I expect. I see it as connecting, as gathering and reporting information. At first they were a little unsure about the whole netvibes thing. This week they are adding feeds left and right, reading, looking, interacting and today started responding to others. I’ve decided to do this backwards this time. Starting with RSS, then reading, then responding, then writing. It’s working I think as today every class asked me “When do we get our blogs?” so the interest is there.

I did try and get the students registered with our WordPressMU installation today. But for some reason it wouldn’t let them register. There are 122 blogs registered at the site and I’m not sure what happened today. It said they had registered, but their blogs never showed up and the confirmation e-mails never came.

Also over at our blog headquarters I successfully installed a plug-in that list the latest postings. So now when students go to the site, the latest 10 postings show up with the first 100 words. It’s fun to see an 11th graders post on the human brain, next to a 5th grade reflection of their day of learning. A great mix that I hope will see some cross river (our two campuses) and cross grade level comments.

I also set up the 5th grade teachers with netvibes accounts and showed them how RSS works so they can easily monitor all 18 of their student blogs. They loved it and just kept saying how much of a time saver this was going to be. I also gave them 22 edublogs to start reading (Full Disclosure: The Thinking Stick, U Tech Tips, Pudong Nerve Central, Teentek.com and Techlearing, all blogs I post at were included in the 22 links)

Last Friday was our first podcast at Pudong Nerve Central for the 2nd Semester which meant two new DJs for the program. I also was thinking about….and continue to do so….how to help students to understand the issues behind downloading illigal music from such Peer 2 Peer programs as LimeWire. So I talked to our DJs and we decided that each podcast will feature a “Free Download of the Week”. This song will be a legal free download from such sites as www.podsafeaudio.com or music.podshow.com. Each week the girls will choose a song they want to share with our listening audience. In the podcast notes we will provide a link to that artist’s web site where others can download the song for free under an open-source or CC license. Last week we featured Win or Lose by Donny Carver. Yesterday we received a Thank You e-mail from Donny for playing his song. Which we thought was pretty cool. The DJs are into it now, I just hope the student body gets something out of it. I know it won’t stop them from downloading songs via LimeWire, but my issue here is they don’t get that it’s illegal. Everyone does it here in China and most of the rest of the developing world. I understand that it’s not going to stop, but I want them to at least understand the issues around it, which I’m finding to be very difficult. I struggle with this on a daily basis. Ethics when it comes to anything digital in China, doesn’t exist.

On top of all this I’ve also been chin deep in planning our upcoming Tech Fest. Trying to finalize David Warlick’s schedule that spands a week on two different campuses, includes two parent talks, and a host of other meetings is one thing. Trying to organize 30+ technology sessions is something completely different. I’ve been luckly as I’ve had a couple of tech team members step up these last two weeks and help out a ton.

It’s now 11:30 and I’ve only commented on one of about 30 postings I want to. But the eye lids are calling my name, so the comments will have to wait yet again.

Update: The opml file that I started my students with.

[tags]SAS, Techfest, David Warlick, podcasting[/tags]

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Our final LAN party podcast…kind of sad really. We discuss the conference in general, the LAN parties, and touch on Anne Davis’s keynote of Overcoming Obstacles. It was a great Saturday morning, taking part in a 2 hour Skype conversation as part of the When Night Falls Skypecast and learning and watching the presentations in the Overcoming Obstacles strand.


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http://www.teentek.com/logos/teentekwater100x100.gifClass has been interesting lately. Two weeks ago it was brought to the classes attention by one of their own that they were loosing subscribers to the site. Why?

After discussing it for awhile they came up with two points: Articles aren’t good enough, and not enough people are posting. So they came up with a system to make sure something is posted daily. Within their groups (Games, Movies, Music, Hardware, Software, etc.) they decided who would post on what days, coming up with a system to make sure their is new content on the site daily. This all happened two days before the end of the quarter. Our electives run on quarters but students have the option to take the same class for a semester. Needless to say our class grew from 18 to 24 students this quarter with 8 students returned. Just enough to keep the ball rolling. The returning students took the newbies under their wings, divided them up into new groups, created them accounts, and got them on a schedule for posting. Some of the students from first quarter who decided to take another elective have asked if they can continue writing for the site “Sure, why not!” is all I ever say. They’re starting to get it!

On top of this, our principal has turned over the weekly Middle School podcast to the students in the elective. So each week a group of about 5 students work on this during class time. We record on Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the week and we release the podcast on Friday. This week was great as we did our first live podcast at an assembly Wednesday. It will be posted to the saspodcast.org site on Friday.

The same thing has happened in the elementary school where the 5th grade will be producing the weekly podcast there. This week we started learning how to podcast and you can get a sneak peak here.

So things are hoping at our school. Our principal of course is hooked and couldn’t give all the fun to the students, so he produces a weekly podcast to parents. (You’ll see it on the site as well)

Podcasting is quickly becoming the new newsletter.

[tags]SAS, podcasting[/tags]

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